The world of professional wrestling is unlike any other. Careers can be short and brutal or long and illustrious - it is sometimes just a roll of the dice as to which one a wrestler will experience. With so many variables inside the ring at any time, it is just as likely that a wrestler will have a forty year career or a short one year stint.
Injuries and personal issues can drive a wrestler away from the ring before they intended on it, which is the unfortunate nature of the business. Sometimes these wrestlers are able to walk away from the business that they love and move on with their lives. Other times, wrestlers find it incredibly hard to move away and find a way to make it back into the ring. While fans will always love them, it is difficult to see some of these wrestlers continue on in the ring when they really shouldn't be. Here are 10 Wrestlers Who Lied About Retiring (And 5 Who Stayed Retired):
15 Lied - Ric Flair
Ric Flair is widely considered to be one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time by most of his peers. With a career spanning over four decades, The Nature Boy had seen and done it all by the time his WrestleMania 24 swan song came around. His career ended in the most storybook way possible, and even had the next two nights of WWE television dedicated to his career. It was the perfect way to end his career.
Unfortunately, his actions following this ruined it all. Flair could not stay out of the ring, and wound up working for Impact Wrestling and taking independent dates. For a wrestler of his luster, it was sad to see him turn out this way. Thankfully, he has since returned to retirement, and fans can only hope it stays that way.
14 Lied - Shawn Michaels
The Heartbreak Kid is one of those wrestlers who just can't seem to stay away, but has thankfully improved his skills with age. Following a back injury in 1998, Shawn Michaels thought he would never wrestle again. However, he wound up returning in 2002 and had a legendary run until 2010. Following some of the best performances of his career, Michaels retired again in 2010.
While many thought this was the end for Michaels, he made an announcement that he would compete at the 2018 Crown Jewel event. Unfortunately, fans also consider this to be one of the worst performances of his career. Sometimes going to the well too many times is not a good idea.
13 Stayed - Edge
Following Edge's World Heavyweight Championship defense at WrestleMania 27, everyone thought that it marked just another big career match for The Rated-R Superstar. However, this match personified much more than that. In fact, it has marked the last time that Edge has stepped foot in the ring.
Following this match, Edge was diagnosed with spinal stenosis and was not medically cleared to wrestle out of fear of paralysis. Edge subsequently relinquished his Championship and has not wrestled since. Despite remaining active in the wrestling community, he has not jumped back into the ring in order to keep his health in order.
12 Lied - Mae Young
While Mae Young's most recognizable points in her career came in her 70s and 80s, this was long after she had retired from official competition. After beginning her wrestling career in the 1940s, Mae Young was a well established pioneer of women's wrestling. By the time she retired in 1991, she was incredibly well-respected as a trail blazer.
When she first joined WWE in 1999 - at the age of 76 - she was introduced to a new generation following her crazy stunts and outbursts. Some of the things she was involved in post-retirement are too crazy to mention, but wrestling fans will never forget them.
11 Lied - Daniel Bryan
When Daniel Bryan announced his retirement in 2016, it was a sad day for wrestling fans. After finally witnessing their hero achieve his impossible dream, Bryan was forced to retire as a result of multiple concussions and injuries.
While watching some members of this list go back on their retirement has been negative for their career, seeing Bryan return to the ring at WrestleMania 34 was a career highlight. Fans had been clamoring for him to get medically cleared, and could not contain their excitement when it finally came true. He may have gone against his retirement, but fans couldn't have been more pleased.
10 Stayed - Sting
Sting had a wrestling career that most wrestlers could only dream of. Whether he was a bleach-blonde surfer man or hiding in the rafters, Sting's legacy is untouchable in the eyes of many wrestling fans. He spent the majority of his career outside of WWE, and only joined the company for a short while. Unfortunately, his stint with the company ended when he suffered an injury in only his third WWE match.
Following this scare, Sting promptly retired from in-ring activity and hasn't looked back. Despite WWE continually teasing dream matches for The Stinger, it is not likely to happen.
9 Lied - Mick Foley
Mick Foley's legacy has made him one of the most beloved figures in professional wrestling. When his in-ring career came to an end in 2000, fans were upset but understood that it was time to hang up his flannel.
Yet, who would have thought that Foley would return to the ring for another seventeen matches with WWE and an eighteen-month stint with Impact Wrestling? No matter how many times he says he is done, Foley is the type of man who just cannot stay away. Considering the diminishing quality of his matches over the years, most fans wish that he stopped much earlier.
8 Lied - Bret Hart
Considering how incredible his legacy is, it would be difficult to call Bret "The Hitman" Hart's in-ring return to WWE a part of his career. However, it is still listed in his match records. Following a career-ending injury in 2000 while with WCW, no one ever thought Hart would wrestle again. Unfortunately for him - and for the fans - he eventually did.
While his WrestleMania 26 feud with Vince McMahon was full of nostalgia, Bret's actions in the ring were very limited. With his body betraying him due to illness and injury, he was unable to execute anything fans were used to. Perhaps Bret's legacy was better left unsullied by his brief return from retirement.
7 Stayed - Steve Austin
If wrestling fans have learned one thing about Stone Cold Steve Austin over the years, it is that if he says he is going to do something, he will do it. After being credited as the man who saved the WWE during the Monday Night War, Austin had accomplished just about all there is to do in WWE.
Following years of nagging injuries all over his body, Austin decided to go out the only way he knew how - on top. Following a third WrestleMania battle against The Rock, Austin hung up his boots once and for all. The last time Austin was in a ring was 2003, and it doesn't seem like he has any itch to return.
6 Lied - Goldberg
One of the last times that fans saw Goldberg in a professional wrestling ring was at WrestleMania XX, and he had quietly removed himself from the business afterwards. Goldberg had built a legacy for himself, and had parted ways from professional wrestling altogether. However, when rumors began circulating that he was contemplating a return in 2016, it was the return fans had never realized they wanted.
Goldberg experienced a career renaissance when he returned from retirement, even amassing a WWE Universal Championship reign in the process. With a match as recent as this year's Summerslam, it appears that even more may be on the horizon for Bill Goldberg.
5 Lied - Terry Funk
There are two things that Terry Funk is most well-known for - his legendary toughness in the ring, and his constant coming out of retirement. Over the years, Funk has developed a reputation for promoting his "last match ever", only to return to the ring months later.
Now 75 years old, Funk last promoted his retirement in 2016, only to return back for another independent wrestling show in 2017. Despite the consistent marketing, Funk himself has stated that he "will never truly retire". At this rate, fans may actually start to believe that statement.
4 Stayed - Paige
Professional wrestling is a very dangerous profession, and careers are often shortened due to the associated risks. It is never a good thing to hear about a career being ended, but it is even more upsetting when it happens to someone with so much potential. When Paige was forced to retire due to a neck injury, she was only 25 years old.
Despite having so much promise, Paige has not returned to the ring since announcing her retirement. While still heavily involved in WWE, it must be very difficult for her to not compete, but she would be risking her life if she tried to again at this point.
3 Lied - Brock Lesnar
Much like Goldberg, WWE fans thought that they had seen the last of Brock Lesnar following his appearance at WrestleMania XX. With an impending career in the NFL and eventually on top of the UFC and World Heavyweight Champion, Brock had developed a great career for himself outside of wrestling.
So when The Beast's music played on the RAW following WrestleMania 28, it is needless to say that fans were shocked. Brock had looked to distance himself as far away as possible from professional wrestling, but he had removed his self-induced retirement.
2 Lied - David Arquette
When David Arquette became WCW World Heavyweight Champion in the dying days of WCW, fans were sure that it was a fluke. Used as a promotional stunt for the film Ready To Rumble, Arquette was not taken seriously as a wrestler.
However, when Arquette reemerged on the professional wrestling scene in 2018 as an active competitor, fans could not believe that he had come out of retirement. Arquette loves wrestling and is dedicating himself to improving. Despite being involved in a black mark on WCW, fans have to respect his dedication during this career resurgence.
1 Stayed - Christian
Christian was always the type of wrestler who fans knew could make it to the top level, but always had trouble remaining there. Thankfully when he returned to WWE for a second stint in 2009, he was finally given his chance and became World Heavyweight Champion on two occasions.
Unfortunately, fans would need to cling onto these moments forever as a severe concussion would force Christian into a quiet retirement in 2014. Without much fanfare, Christian stepped away from the spotlight, and has never attempted to make a return.